Agriculture is the backbone of our civilization, providing us with the essential resources necessary for our survival and sustenance. The study of agriculture encompasses a wide range of disciplines and plays a crucial role in shaping the world we live in today. As the global population continues to grow, ensuring food security becomes paramount.
Agricultural studies help us understand how to increase crop yields, develop sustainable farming practices, and address issues such as pests, diseases, and climate change. By advancing our knowledge in this field, we can effectively feed the world’s growing population. Sustainable agricultural practices are essential for the preservation of our planet. Agricultural studies focus on promoting environmentally friendly techniques, such as organic farming, precision agriculture, and water conservation. Agriculture plays a vital role in rural communities, where farming is often the primary source of income. By studying agriculture, students can contribute to the development of rural areas, improving infrastructure, access to markets, and increasing employment opportunities. Agricultural studies also emphasize diversification, encouraging the cultivation of alternative crops and exploring new farming methods.
The Agricultural Program offered at Tyrrell College has been recognised nationally as a centre for excellence in the delivery of agricultural education. Agricultural studies are integrated across the school curriculum from Foundation to Year 12. Tyrrell College offers students the opportunity to study VCE Agriculture and Horticulture, and Certificate II in VET Agriculture provided by Longerenong College in partnership with Skillinvest. Students in Year 9 complete a year long subject ‘Farm Production’ which focuses on agricultural enterprises including broad acre cropping, crop trials, livestock and horticultural industries. Students are involved in the selection, planting, harvesting, marketing and budgeting of a chosen product. Students are exposed to a variety of local industries to highlight the broad range of careers and job specific skills that are required within the Industry. Student in Year 8 undertake a semester long elective ‘Horticulture’, which focuses on plant production. They experiment with a range of growing mediums and conditions to grow produce. The subject is based on the paddock to plate model, where students harvest their produce and then plan and prepare a meal. At F-6 students focus on food and fibre production and have the opportunity to work in the schools hot house, greenhouse, food ladder system, vegetable garden and orchid. A mentor program between students in the Year 9 Farm Production and F-6, supports younger students understanding and confidence in food growth and consumption. Additional program such as ‘Mushrooms in Schools’ exposes our younger students to more a wider variety of farming methods. All programs allow students to use state of the art technology currently being used in the Agricultural sector. Students have access to a significant number of industry partners that the school has developed since the birth of the program. Students engage with guest speakers as well as having the opportunity to visit relevant agricultural businesses in the local and wider area, such as large local broad acre farming, dairies, emu farms, sheep and cattle feedlots, piggeries, goat farms, abattoirs, orchards, smart farms, Birchip Cropping Group, livestock Artificial Insemination, and consultancy services.
The VET Agriculture program is drawn from a national training package and offers portable qualifications which are recognised throughout Australia.
Certificate II in Agriculture provides students with the knowledge and skills to enhance their employment prospects in the agriculture industry. The program covers work health and safety, farm maintenance, animal husbandry and machinery and equipment operation.
Depending on the electives chosen, skills can be developed in a range of areas including broadacre cropping, harvesting, maintaining livestock, pest management , shearing and routine farm machinery maintenance. In addition, students learn how to work effectively in the rural industry as well as the basic technical skills to be a supervised worker.
Certificate II in Agriculture is a work ready pre-employment course designed to assist students in pursuing a career in the agricultural industry through study pathway options, such as an apprenticeship or higher education. Completion of Certificate II in Agriculture provides students with the skills to work on properties or in rural enterprises engaged in primary production. Employment opportunities exist in a number of designated sectors such as beef, dairy, sheep and wool production. With additional training and experience, future employment opportunities may include farm hand, station hand, farm supervisor, wool handler/classer, agronomist, agribusiness administrator.
Primary industries are an essential part of Australia’s economy, society and culture. As Australia faces a rising population and increasing urgency to conserve resources and mitigate the effects of climate change. Sustainable management of food and fibre industries is vital for local, national and global markets. The broad, applied nature of VCE Agricultural and Horticultural Studies prepares students for further studies and careers in agriculture, horticulture, land management, agricultural business practice and natural resource management. This study complements the skills focus of the competency-based nationally recognised VCE VET Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management program.
The college was the successful applicant of the Secondary Schools Agriculture Fund in late 2022 securing funding of $200,000. This funding will aid Tyrrell College to deliver a hands-on agricultural program that provides a focus on the overall growth of agricultural industries.
We aim to continue to inspire our students to explore the many different pathway opportunities in the industry. As part of this project the school will create a new agricultural leaning facility, ‘The Shed’, where we will continue to provide our innovative and industry-relevant curriculum that leverages our existing resources, equipment, land, and industry partnerships.